I began journaling to my unborn son during our second trimester, once the nausea loosened its grip around me. I would have begun sooner but throughout the first four months of my pregnancy it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and get through my work day. At the end of the day, I would go home, lie on my bed in the dark and nibble on Saltine crackers, waiting for sleep to come.
Once the nausea began to subside, I realized how much of my pregnancy I had already lost. I wanted to remember every milestone, every single moment, no matter how small. Knowing how memories dissipate like the early morning dew at the sun’s first rays, I began writing. Also knowing my track record for keeping a journal, and how many lay unfinished, I decided I would be more motivated and disciplined if I were to write to my son.
It’s amazing what we will do for those we love. I took better care of myself while pregnant, for my son’s sake, than I had ever done before. I attended weekly pre-natal yoga classes, ate only the healthiest of foods, walked every single day and treated us to a monthly massage (weekly during my final month of pregnancy).
So, I knew my writing to him would guarantee a daily commitment.
I didn’t just document the events of our days, though. I wanted to capture my feelings of being pregnant. I wanted to remember how he made me feel; absolute, beautiful, and transformed. Being pregnant was exactly as I had always believed it would be and I didn’t want to lose one more single day to forgotten memories.
I didn’t realize it at the time but I was writing memoir. Knowing how things would change once my son was born, I was preserving who we were together, for my sake as well as his. Who has the privilege of knowing their birth story, down to the minutest of details, before they are even born? I wanted that for my son!
And, so began “Memoirs from the Belly”.